|Does your professional organizer's desk look like this?|
I see this blissful ignorance frequently with professionals who teach or coach others on how to do something, but don't do it themselves. A couple of examples:
I know a consultant who used to speak to teachers about presenting information to students in different ways because of different learning styles and personality types, but when she presented, her own information wasn't presented that way. (I speak about this consultant in the past tense, because after working with me, her presentation was much more consistent with her message.)
I know a therapist/author whose topic is communication, yet she never responds to commenters on Facebook or Twitter. (I actually find that poor communication is particularly egregious in communication fields.)
I'm sure we've all seen Web designers' websites that are hard to navigate and not user-friendly, a professional organizer with a messy desk, and the occasional pastor whose actions don't exactly demonstrate "love thy neighbor."
We all do this from time to time, and it doesn't make us bad people or failures at our work. As I said in this post, if you're not "practicing what you preach," it doesn't make you a hypocrite. We're not perfect, and our behavior doesn't always match our ideals.
However, repeated inconsistency between your message and your behavior will eventually start to become noticeable to your audiences and prospects, possibly becoming damaging to your believability and credibility.
It's time to be honest with yourself. Ask yourself these questions:
** Am I practicing my own methods?
** Am I a role model for the people I hope to teach?
** Am I demonstrating the things I talk about?
If not, why not?
If you believe in the methods or the principles or the concepts and you want to persuade others to follow these principles or make attitude and behavior adjustments, you need to live them, not just talk about them.
In my abovementioned post, I said, "Always keep working to bring your image and message into alignment as much as possible." For this post, I'd like that to read "Always keep working to bring your behavior and message into alignment as much as possible."
It's not necessary to strive for perfection, but it is necessary to strive for consistency, because how others perceive you will greatly affect your ability to gain clients, customers and audiences.
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